Your parents may have worked for the same business for 40 years, but it’s not likely that you’ll do the same. Today, the average worker changes jobs 12 times during their career. It’s common to spend five years or less at each job. You might decide to move on, or the company might lay you off and hire someone who will do the same job for less.
That means we’re doing more job-searching. This can be frustrating, but it’s always nice when the searching pays off with a (well-deserved) offer. Once you hammer out the details, it’s time to really buckle down and prepare for your new job. Here are three things to do.
Learn About the Company
By the time you get hired, you should already know a fair amount about the company. For instance, you should have read the Wikipedia page from top to bottom, but that’s not all. Now that you’re an employee, there’s more you can and should learn about what your company does and how it views itself.
For instance, is it free with its charitable donations? If they’re a major corporation, are they among the most generous companies in the Fortune 500? Does the company have a philosophy of giving, or does it spread the wealth around to a variety of causes?
If you’re going to learn about the good, you should also learn about the bad. If the company has any major (or even moderate) scandals in its past, now is the time to find out. That doesn’t mean that you should turn down the job or anything, especially not at this late stage. Just about every business in the United States has done something questionable at some point. But you need to understand what happened if, for instance, your Aunt Bethany asks about it at Christmas after she finds out where you work.
Research Your Online Presence
Sure, you’re looking up things about the company. You might even see if you’re connected to any of your soon-to-be coworkers on sites like Linked In. But if you’re looking them up, you should know that they’re probably looking up your online presence as well. It’s important that your online footprint be as accurate as possible.
If you’ve never been arrested, be sure that a long list of criminal records didn’t somehow get associated with your name. You know what you look like, obviously, and you know if that mugshot isn’t really you. But your future coworkers will not know that. No one wants to spend their first day at work explaining that a long-lost cousin stole your identity after getting pulled over with a car full of meth.
Sure, that’s an extreme example, but it’s important to clean up your search results as soon as possible. In an ideal world, you’d run occasional checks on your online persona to be sure there’s nothing weird, but we don’t always have time for that in our daily lives. Doing it before big life transitions is as good a time as any.
Remember to Enjoy It
A new job comes with a lot of red tape and stress, but don’t let that stop you from being excited about a new chapter in your life. No, you probably won’t stay here for the rest of your career, but you can still accomplish a lot of good things while you’re here. You got the job because the hiring committee believed in you, and that’s no small thing.
Be proud of yourself. If you’re feeling like you don’t belong, that’s just imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head at the worst possible time. All of your colleagues had a first day at the job, and they got through it. You will as well. Every job has a learning curve, so don’t feel like you must have everything figured out on the first day. If you’re curious and work hard, then you’ll be up to speed soon enough.